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Ran Ultimate Boot CD on a Windows XP machine that's in a reboot loop (safe mode not working), checked disk health, etc. It's fine. Ran testdisk, finds the NTFS primary boot partition, can browse files, etc. but after rebooting back into UBCD, still can't see the partitions in any of the File Management utilities.

Been so long since I've done any of this kind of stuff -- do I need to fix the MBR after writing the partition table in testdisk?

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Um, well, the first thing i'd do would be to inspect the actual BSOD - that is to enter the option after F8 to stop restarting when encountering an irrecoverable error. Then i'd google parts of the error and see where that leads me.

I'm not quite sure what UBCD enables you to do, but if this is a filesystem related (NTFS) error, then i'd first try "mounting" the partition with ntfs-3g off a live distro (such as debian live). If that does not succeed - then i'd run chkdsk /F /R over it and see the error reported when mounting the partition, again.

If your partition table is corrupted - then, yeah, testdisk should be able to restore it. fixmbr to restore the MBR, then fixboot to restore the boot manager/loader (ntldr).

But, ofc, focus on mounting the filesystem successfully first. Regarding disk health, well, you'd need smartmontools, namely smartctl -A /dev/sd? to inspect it's SMART attributes and smartctl -t short/long to setup selftests.

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SMART attributes are fine; forgot about chkdsk /r, will try that. –  gravyface Jan 4 '12 at 19:33
    
@gravyface: sorry, if you don't mind me asking - could you post the whole export of SMART attrib to pastie.org or a similar resource? –  XXL Jan 4 '12 at 19:58
    
I can once chkdsk completes. –  gravyface Jan 4 '12 at 19:59
    
chkdsk for the win. Wow. Feel pretty silly for not remembering that. Thanks. –  gravyface Jan 4 '12 at 21:20
    
np, glad it helped. –  XXL Jan 5 '12 at 19:41

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